Wednesday, August 29, 2012

full of His praise

Habakkuk 3:3
His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.

881. a mostly restful night's sleep with three littles to listen for
882. a big boy who stayed in his bed all night!
883. a full morning with all things accomplished (dropping off a car for repairs and picking up a rental van with three in tow and an ever helpful husband up early to join us!)
884. a sweet boy who cleans up "all by myself" a big step!
885. morning muffins, cream cheese and chocolate was my choice
886. feeling like there's such an abundance of good gifts that some have slipped through the cracks of my memory
887. preparing for the celebration of marriage, for my kindred spirit, so glad we'll be there!
888. talented seamstresses who can make things fit
889. a mom who's willing to loan
890. a hand made gift, hoping it's extra special
891. the opportunity for family pictures, something we don't do often enough
892. days off at just the right time
893. learning with Moriah and ABC Jesus Loves Me
894. a rental van that has been just right
895. helping Matt
896. a skilled tow truck driver who can quickly change a flat tire
897. fast mechanics who can plug the tire, so that it's just like new!
898. leaving our home in order, and the comfort of returning to order
899. waking up early for a jump start to the day, and food from the Word
900. seeing God in people who love and serve Him, even when their lives have looked much different
901. gathering again as a community group, knowing they know me
902. praying throughout the day, God is near
903. a challenge to memorize His Word
904. the Seminary Wives Institute, thankful that the Lord has graciously been preparing me to walk alongside Matt
905. a frog pond after a short nature hike with little ones
906. playing pizza shop, menus and all with three small cooks
907. the kindness humility allows
908. a "home day" with no extra plans
909. the leaves starting to fall, only every now and then
910. a little boy and his fishing pole
911. a freezer for storing leftovers, dinners in a week or so
912. friends who will help and play with Moriah
913. a winter wardrobe, gently used found through the racks of the children's consignment sale
914. a ladybug raincoat, the most prized item in Moriah's eyes :)
915. unlikely matches among hand-me-downs gathered from a few places
916. a deposit made, and gas needed, just right within pennies - the Lord knows what we need
917. the State Fair with little girls
918. a friend nearby for many years now, enjoying life in many seasons
919. learning delight as God gives me joy in so much that was once only mundane
920. a family to love and serve, in order that we might all love the Lord

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

more blogs of note...

I've enjoyed these blog entries lately and thought you might as well!  I'm planning to update my list of thanks tomorrow as it's really overdue from the past two weeks with full days that didn't provide extra blogging time :)  In the meantime, enjoy these...

Being a Pastor's Wife is an Exercise in Faith
from In View of God's Mercy
Courtney really sums up many challenges with Truth that encouraged me to continue affirming Matt and walking beside him as a pastor (student, and bank teller) in this season and as the Lord leads us to full time ministry post-Seminary.

When You Need...
from Femina
A helpful and challenging blog reminding us to reach out to others in friendship rather than longing for friends while staying paralyzed by inward moping and loneliness.

Staying at Home My Story
from The Vanilla Tulip
Ashley shares her story as a stay-at-home mom.  A blessing to read!  She also features others moms working at home.

A Prayer for a Daughter
from A Holy Experience
Ann Voskamp eloquently writes a prayer for her girls that brought tears to my eyes as I think of my prayers for Moriah.  A must read for moms of girls.

Frugal Baby Finds
from Jenny Free Style
Jenny shares about her first experience consignment shopping in KC.  The admission cost surprised me a lot as our sales don't charge to get in.  It's also sad to read that clothing wasn't more reasonably priced.  I worked one shift at our local Little Treasures consignment sale over the weekend and sold most of Moriah's winter clothes from last year as well.  I also shopped last night at the workers pre-sale (it is well worth the work shift to shop early at this sale!).  It's a WONDERFUL blessing to our family, both financially and in general simple and de-cluttered living!  Look for consignment sales in your area, 'tis the season :)

Top 5 (Mostly) Healthy Road Trip Snacks
from Frugal Granola
We're headed on a trip this weekend and always enjoy snacks.  Her ideas were simple and very similar to the goodies we've purchased already!

Organization: Planning our Days
from A Blossoming Homestead
Megan shares her daily routine with a tiny little baby.  I'm so helped by a flexible routine and share her thoughts that it makes so much of parenting/caring for little ones a bit more predictable for both the adult and child!  I've recently been thinking through our routines at this stage and may share more later. 

Friday Funnies
from GirlTalk
This is a partial list linked to another blog explaining all sorts of common grammatical misunderstandings in church.  Funny to read and helpful!

Welcome to a New Year at SWI!
from SWI Library Blog
I discovered the SWI library a couple of years in to my Seminary Wives Institute days.  What a treasure trove of resources.  Read the blog if you're a Southern Seminary wife and see for yourself!

Summer Nell Photography
from GirlTalk
With the arrival of the Mahaney family as Soverign Grace Ministries is now headquartered in Louisville (I'm pretty sure that's accurate!), comes the talented photography of Janelle.  I'll be excited for mini photo shoots if they become available!

10 Things Every Teacher Wants You to Know... But Won't Tell You!
from I Can Teach My Child
This blog's title explains it all!  I fully agreed, as a former teacher :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

meals: August 25 - September 7

This is a big meal plan though we're not at home each of the days for the next two weeks.  Read on for our meal plans as I'm headed grocery shopping this afternoon when my sweet pea naps and my husband studies.

ravioli with marinara sauce, bread, salad
*using leftover sauce from last week's skillet lasagna, always nice to use up leftovers rather than waste them! we were also given yummy homemade ranch we plan to dress our salad with

lunch - apple, cucumber, cashew chicken salad with croissants, cheese, fruit
dinner - pesto chicken pizza
*we may have lunch guests so I wanted to have specific plans though usually we wouldn't

macaroni and cheese, my mom's recipe
*we have community group tonight and are contributing to a "home cookin'" themed pot-luck

Martha's bean burritos, copy-cat Chipotle cilantro lime rice



staying with family

wedding rehearsal dinner

wedding reception


pancakes, eggs


quiche, muffins
*I plan to make the quiche this week with some time off, and will freeze it - I bought pre-made pie crusts and will use the second one in the package after making quiche last week too - I also found muffin mixes at Kroger $10 for 10, while I didn't get 10 mixes, the sale was helpful as I have some in the pantry just waiting for a good time!

leftover bean burritos
*the filling and rice all freeze really well, and since the recipe makes such a large portion it works well to plan on leftovers


chicken piccata with pasta, edamame

Friday, August 24, 2012

a jam packed week

This has been the last official week of summer, as Mr. S. begins to "phase in" to 4 year old pre-school next week.  After Labor Day, he'll be back to his four day morning schedule away, and the girls and I will have a quieter house though we'll miss him greatly.  I'm planning to use MK's morning nap time for a little bit of "school" with Moriah using the ABC Jesus Loves Me 2 year old curriculum.  I'll post more about that later.  For now, here's a recap of our jam packed week!


I worked about 25 hours from Sunday night to Monday night with the little ones while both parents were traveling for their jobs!  We started Monday morning by dropping of our van to have repairs after hitting a deer on the way to church.  We also picked up a rental van and switched car seats with three little ones in tow.  I'm SO thankful for my husband who spent the long night away with me and then helped with our morning!  Next, we were off to a local muffin shop for a special breakfast.  The little ones enjoyed it, as did I.  A chocolate cream cheese muffin is always a good thing right :)  After muffins, we headed to the Louisville Science Center to play for a bit before returning for lunch.  Once all were fed and well rested we drove back to Louisville and played at a park, then went to our apartment for dinner.  Mr. S. and I quickly made peanut butter fruit dip from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  It was well liked by all!  We also took a pajama walk as their mom was delayed in her return just by a bit. 

the water table was fun for all - so thankful for the raincoats they provide!

Everyone was still a bit tired from our marathon Monday, so we enjoyed the morning at the house playing together in a low key way :)  We also went out to the Creasey Mahan Nature Center in Crestwood and enjoyed their Bass-Pro style dioramas displaying a variety of stuffed wildlife in real looking scenes.  The kids were intrigued though understanding non-living or dead is really hard for little ones.  They only became a little apprehensive when they saw a stuffed black bear reaching up for a beehive... Mr. S. wouldn't really turn his back on the bear and told me "It's dangerous!"

they're holding on for dear life :)
We had another full and fun day with a trip to the Louisville Zoo!  Hoping to give Mr. S. a new twist on the zoo I developed a Zoo Scavenger Hunt for him.  I found two really great ones, but one used color photos and our printer is out of color ink.  Instead, I made one using black and white clip art tailored to the animals we were more certain to see at our zoo.  I slipped the page into a plastic sheet protector, clipped it to the clipboard, and added a dry erase crayon to use.  We also printed this scavenger hunt of sorts and used it to review our zoo fun while we ate lunch back at the house.  It was great for encouraging conversation and recollection of the day!

the polar bear cub was so playful today!

Mr. S. working on his scavenger hunt, Ms. M.K. is getting pretty worn out!

We ended the week well with a day celebrating the end of summer with Mr.S.  We tried the new inflatable fun zone at Oldham County All About Kids in Crestwood, and then enjoyed Happy Meals at McDonald's.  The inflatable area is very similar to the original All About Kids, though a bit more open overall.  There was a medium sized inflatable that was just right for Mr. S. and the girls loved to bouce around with him though they couldn't begin to go up and onto the slide (which is a good thing!).  Lunch out was a HUGE treat for all, and the first time Moriah tried a Happy Meal - she ate her apple slices first :)

a mouthful!
Friday is our day off this week.  Moriah and I ended the week with friends at the Kentucky State Fair.  Here's one more picture of our great morning there :)  Now, I need the weekend to recover my energy, haha!

Moriah was excited about the pot bellied pig!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

meal plans August 18-24

These are our plans for supper!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche, fruit, muffins
This is an old favorite I made more frequently in the past - somehow we'd "forgotten" about quiche lately and thought it sounded good

BLT's (plus avocado), sweet potato fries
We've eaten a lot of BLT's this summer, mostly because they're quick and easy using ingredients we often have, especially since the generous farmers at our church have shared plenty of tomatoes with us. I hoped to change it up a bit this week by adding the avocado, one of Matt's favorite foods!

Crock-Pot whole chicken, cheesy bacon potato crisps, edamame
Matt called it a "dream dinner", I told him he's easy to please, for which I'm really thankful.  I didn't realize just how much meat would come from a whole chicken but there's a lot!  We ate some, plan to use some with our pesto pasta, and Moriah's lunch quesadillas this week, and still had more to freeze.  What a blessing.  I'm also trying to make chicken stock in the Crock-Pot overnight, which is new to me but sounds promising as a base for fall/winter soups.  The potatoes were a quick thought after seeing them on Pinterest a lot lately, we enjoyed ours a bit less crispy and not with the dip (though I'm sure it would be tasty).

waffles, eggs, bacon

Pesto tossed into pasta, chicken
My basil plants have been producing a lot this summer.  I want to make good use of the fresh herbs so I'm planning to try pesto for the first time.  I look forward to seeing how it works and if I can carefully freeze it to use again throughout the next few weeks and months.


*as a weekend bonus I also tried this Easy-Peasy No Rise Cinnamon Roll recipe, which was the last pin I saw before bed last night - how could I resist when the ingredients were on hand? :)  I didn't have buttermilk but recently read that plain yogurt and milk combine well to make buttermilk in both chemistry and consistency (half of each for the amount required).  It worked for me this morning.  I also had trouble with the dough seeming stickier than I expected when I rolled it with the filling inside, you might use extra flour at that point it.  My family was glad I went for it and we all enjoyed these no-rise cinnamon rolls, there's another pan for tomorrow too, haha (I like trying lots of things, but yeast is one I try to avoid, I'll get brave again soon and try!)

I'll leave you with a picture, see if you can resist!

Friday, August 17, 2012

the week's end

Wednesday -
We met our new friend and the first nanny of Mr. S. at a park to play!  Mr. S. is always happy to see her, and especially to see her son Z as they spent their first 2 years growing up together.  She is a sweet friend to me, also a former Seminary wife, now a full time home maker as her husband pastors full time.  They've added two other little ones to their family, so we instantly become a play date of 6 (all under 4 years old) when we're together!  Fun for sure :)  After fun at the sprayground and playground we came back for lunch before naps.  Mr. S. was in search of a good snack so we made trail mix on a whim which he always loves.  Mr. S. introduced Moriah to a love of tractors really early!  He's also done the same for his sweet sister, so each of their wardrobes contain at least one John Deere shirt.  We decided to dress everyone in their clothes for a little photo shoot of sorts.  They were mostly cooperative.

climbing high!
two happy John Deere loving girls...
Mr. S. has taught them everything they know!

Thursday -
Today was a restful day of playing at the house.  Grandparents were driving through so Mr. S. stayed to enjoy them with MK and their parents while Moriah and I headed out to the library.  We found lots of new to us books that we look forward to reading.

We also enjoyed the water table today and these sponge "balls" that I've been seeing all over Pinterest, and hoping to make (I tried to find a link, but couldn't at the moment, check it out if you're curious - Martha Stewart provided our instructions!).  When Moriah and I ran out to the library we picked up two packages of 4 sponges at Dollar General and had a $4 project for the day!  It was as easy as the directions seemed and added fun to the water table.  The little ones were happiest to run "free" with only diapers or underpants on while we played outside in the water.  Their squeals were priceless, haha!

they were just as easy to make as they seem

she really liked the sponge balls
The week ended with a "special treat" for me too, a frozen chai thanks to the thoughtful mom of these little ones, yum!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

nanny's news - the beginning of the week!

Monday, August 13 -
We went to Barnes and Noble this morning to play with their train table (Mr. S. has one at home that he rarely shows interest in, somewhere else however he enjoys playing!) and LEGO table.  We also browsed books, and ending up with two new ones...

for Mr. S. as he returns to pre-school at the end of August
It's Time for Pre-School by Esme Raji Codell

*After reading this before rest time I found it to be a wonderful welcome to pre-school!  The author walks through a very typical pre-school day featuring components of the classroom and skills that will be essential (manners, sharing, etc.)  She also includes fun rhymes that ease a child's potential anxieties without offering new anxieties for children who may not have felt that way before :)

for Moriah as she LOVES I Spy books and continues to show interest in letters
I Spy Little Letters by Jean Marzollo

After our time at Barnes and Noble we walked to a little climbing and playing area that we've recently discovered in this shopping center.  The little ones loved it until it started raining and we needed to leave!

Mr. S. also enjoyed playing with his highway letters during his afternoon rest.  His mom printed the letters of his name, and had them laminated at Kinko's for lots of playtime use!  They're perfect for driving small Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars over.

Tuesday, August 14 -
Today was an early morning as the little ones arrived at our apartment at 7:15 ready for breakfast :)  I made a Dutch baby pancake as a special treat to supplement their regular breakfast foods.  We got dressed and headed out to a doctor's appointment for me.  With the double stroller and Mary Poppins bag of tricks I tend to carry (it's stylish thanks to my mom and Vera Bradley!), we were off and had a mostly successful trip without too many squeals or tears!  We came back to play for a bit before heading off to All About Kids for inflatable fun.  As a new location is about set for a grand opening, the original location has changed their inflatables, offering two "new" (or maybe just new to us?!) bouncies (in the lingo of little ones!).  All enjoyed playing and were ready to rest today.

down the big slide on his tummy!

you can see her happy face though she was in motion, and my camera can't handle it :)

climbing is just what Ms. M.K. loves

Monday, August 13, 2012

thanks all week long


As I've been chroniciling my list of thanks, I find myself thinking throughout the week, "I'm so thankful for this, right now..." or "don't forget to include this in my list".  I realize that the list isn't really what it's all about, but keeping a list has helped me to notice SO much more than I would've otherwise.  It's been especially helpful in times that I would have otherwise been quite tempted to be discontent with one thing or another.  Rather, I'm able to recognize so much of God's good grace and rejoice in Him.  I hope you can experience the same gratitude to the Lord!

857. a big city with all sorts of annual fun, this weekend the St. Joseph's Picnic
858. memories recalled from our last 4 years here, we're becoming a bit nostaligic as we begin what may be our final Seminary/Louisville year
859. chatting away with my sweet girl
860. Saturday morning cleaning and a little one who would rather "watch mama" than play :)
861. my husband who tolerated a weekend with my nose in a book during most every spare moment
862. clean laundry to start the week
863. book store browsing with little ones, and finding just the right book
864. a biography of such a faithful man to increase my faith, George Muller
865. grace and discipline, starting new routines to serve my family
866. a recent meal tasting just as good as I remember it, poppyseed chicken (from the college cafeteria, my favorite during those days!)
867. more sewing lessons as the t-shirt quilt progresses
868. thinking about the Lord as I talk with a little one almost 4
869. recognizing His power over all things, "can God start a tornado and stop it?"
870. seeing grace, but not having the words to explain that while tragedies come and show much evidence of the Fall, grace abounds in that we are SO often protected each day we don't experience utter destruction
871. classes starting, exciting my studious husband
872. Moriah's imagination blooming - a couch pillow became a diving board for such an exaggerated "jump in the water!"
873. elated giggles and squeals from two girls riding in a car on the front of our grocery cart
874. the orange of a really fresh egg
875. seeing a farm in action
876. bedtime stories
877. singing "You Are My Sunshine" as Moriah sings along
878. a little one learning "pat, pat, pat" from Moriah as she gives nice pats so often
879. Dutch baby pancakes as a special breakfast treat, for three little ones early in the morning
880. a productive evening

Sunday, August 12, 2012

blogs of note

I love to read.  This week and weekend I've been reading a captivating novel, more about that later.  Most naptimes find me browsing blogs to relax and refresh a bit as two little ones sleep and one has a quiet rest.  I usually read about parenting, activities for children, Christianity, living as a godly woman, home keeping, and marriage.  I also like to keep up with a few friends and acquaintances from college through the blogging world.  If you're interested in some new to you blogs, or just some helpful posts you might like these!

Is it wrong to look forward to my son's naptime? at Girltalk
encouragement in time management and homemaking

I want to be a godly mother (a follow up from first post above) at Girltalk
helpful instruction in considering my own heart as I interact with the little ones

On never being done at Femina
house work is never done, on making a home for all even children

A Sweet Summer at A Tribe Called Blackley
a real life friend who blogs and makes me thankful for technology so I can peek into her days and wish we were closer :)

A Pretty Basket Full of Napkins at Passionate Homemaking
all about cloth napkins, which we love

Adoption at The Vanilla Tulip
I love to read of the Lord's work in adoptions, Ashley and I went to college together

Sitter Binder at Jenny Freestyle
another real life friend, with a helpful resource for mom's returning to work as teaching days begin

Wow! What a Weekend at A Blossoming Homestead
Megan also went to college with me, and shares about her weekend, a fun posting topic to tuck away for the future

Chapter Book Read Aouds at Growing Book by Book
of course I love reading, and browsing suggested reading is just about as fun

Blessing Others: The Importance of a Simple Note by Passionate Homemaking
I really enjoy note writing and would like to be intentional about writing more often

Jog the Web 10 for 10 Favorite Picture Books
lots of bloggers listed their favorite picture books, and I joined them!  This link lets you scan them all at once, pretty neat :)  Check it out if you're a teacher especially, as many were geared for classroom use and connected to specific learning goals.

Lovebug's 1st Birthday Party by Candace's Calling
another real life friend, who just celebrated her sweet girl's 1st birthday with a wonderful party!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

meal plans August 10-17

Here's the run down for the week... in no particular order :)

pancakes, scrambled eggs
*I used the blueberry pancake recipe from Martha's All American Cookbook I just checked out from the library

nachos, black beans, taco rice

tuna salad and egg salad (pick your preference) sandwiches, baked beans, fruit
*I'm also using Martha's recipes for tuna salad and egg salad

skillet lasagna, canned veggies, fruit
*this recipe from Pioneer Woman

Hawaiian chicken, rice

poppyseed chicken, rice, roasted veggies
*Pinterest inspired, from The Girl Who Ate Everything


Friday, August 10, 2012

10 Bedtime Books

I'm joining the August 10 for 10 Picture Book Jog today...

Moriah LOVES when we read to her, and we're thankful as Matt and I both LOVE to read!  Here are some of our most recent (and some longstanding) favorite bedtime (or anytime) read alouds for our 2 year old daughter.  She really is pretty attentive as we read, so I know these aren't all the most age appropriate for every 2 year old, but I'd encourage you to give them a try and enjoy reading with your little one.

1. The Big Picture Story Bible
We read Scripture to Moriah every day, throughout our days, and this is our current night time reading.

2. All Asleep
Whimsical illustrations with a fun sing song-y rhyme perfect for bedtime, especially "Even the babies who wake up all night are sleeping now, are sleeping tight" :)

3. Time for Bed
A wonderful bedtime rhyme, Moriah really loves "Time for bed, little bird, little bird, close your eyes not another word", she likes to cover her hands as we read, precious!

4. Eloise Wilkin's Treasury
I love these illustrations and have found so many classic and lovely stories to read aloud.  It really is a treasure.

5. Caps for Sale
*this link isn't the traditional story, if you're planning to read it look for that one instead!
Moriah loves the monkeys, and likes to read along with me as I say "Caps, caps for sale", a fun read aloud for sure!

6. Goodnight Moon
I especially love the poetic rhythm of the story, the more I read it to Moriah, the more it grows on me, as I didn't always understand the charm (maybe I'm not the only one)!

7. Am I Big or Little?
Such a sweet story about a little girl wondering whether she's big or little... she finds out that she's big enough for some things, and little enough for others!  Just right for the 2 year old age, of so much independence with time left for sweet cuddles and a little help :)

8. Madeline
A classic that is well loved here.  Madeline has also sparked some pretend play as Moriah often does "surgery" to take out an "appendix" like Madeline's.  I had a Madeline doll from childhood and my classroom which Moriah enjoys, we looked and even found her scar stitched on her tummy!

9. Dog
An interactive moving book... no pop ups, lots of sliding, pulling, and moving pages this is perfect for our dog loving little girl.

10. I Kissed the Baby!
A fun find at the library, we've checked it out more than a handful of times.  I of course, kiss Moriah as the story goes, which she thinks is so funny!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August's first full week

Here's a wrap-up of our fun this week... many things didn't go nearly as planned, but having had an initial plan was good for our structure, and my thought process.  The little ones were very content to be home bodies early in the week so some of our away from home activities weren't received with nearly the enthusiasm they would've been any other day.  Instead we stayed, to play "sushi" (Mr. S. recently went out for sushi and was quite intrigued as you might guess!), "doctor" (Moriah's favorite these days, included appendix and toe surgery this week), and do lots of "working" (might have been building a house on the couch, or a construction site, or laying pavement of blankets, etc.)

We also...

went to the library

went to Henry's Ark and fed the animals... we were well stocked with carrots, bread, and apples!

she was EXCITED!  I couldn't get her expression, but I recall the thrill :)

baked homemade sugar cookies and cut them into Olympic rings and medals

a very willing baker, mostly because he can't wait to taste!

went on a walking tour of Foxhollow Farm and enjoyed their wheel barrows

working hard

made a collage of varied craft supplies on clear contact paper

Monday, August 6, 2012

seeing light

"They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delight.  For with you is the fountain of life, in your light do we see light."
~Psalm 36:8-9

831. a quiet Sunday
832. evening ice cream in ice cream bowls, new to us from "The Attic" on campus (a free thrift store)
833. a family walk
834. extra cuddles at night as Moriah adjusts to sleep without pacifiers
835. her newest word, "excited" always used at the most exciting times of course :)
836. homemade popsicles
837. God's protection in our collision with a deer yesterday morning
838. Matt's quick thinking to keep us safe (he stayed on the road without swerving)
839. a brave girl who wasn't scared at all
840. Moriah exercising with Matt
841. swimming together on the weekend
842. church family that loves us well
843. a new John Deere tractor toy for Moriah
844. the Lord at work in the lives of those who seek Him
845. Olympic women's soccer
846. a brother who's baking, and calls for some help
847. a clean bathroom
848. a wobbly table with legs tightened and as good as new
849. cooler weather accompanied by rain
850. listening to Matt and learning more about his current interests, Heidegger if you're curious
851. shopping for a wedding gift, to celebrate with a sweet friend
852. an available seamstress to help with alterations
853. reading an intriguing book, historical fiction is my favorite
854. dinner coming from the freezer, prepared in advance
855. the tiny voice of a little girl singing along
856. buying helpful books with store credit accumulated from selling to the used book store

Saturday, August 4, 2012

nanny life in August

Since my last nanny update, I've had a flexible schedule with lots of time off for various travel which has taken the family out of state, or brought their family in town.  I'll be getting back into the swing of things for the tail end of this week then picking up again with normal 4 day weeks through the end of August.  All three of the little ones (a 14 month old, new 2 year old, and almost 4 year old) will be home full time as no other scheduled activities are underway, so I hope to have a good but flexible plan for fun together!  I'll likely have some extra hours, both early mornings and late nights which also call for additional planning.  I compiled a list of fun and organized it by day for the rest of our summer... here are 4 activities each week we hope to enjoy!

Oldham County Public Library visits (once weekly)
Pottery Barn Kids story time and mall picnic
Foxhollow Farm tour
Barnes and Noble, train table and LEGO table play
Henry's Ark, animal park
Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve
sprayground, we're hoping to try Long Run Park
All About Kids
Art Sparks and nearby park
Louisville Zoo and sprayground
Kentucky State Fair
ChickFilA tunnel play

I also hope to incorporate some Olympic related crafts and fun, but educational, pre-school prep for the almost 4 year old (while the little ones naps) as he returns to pre-school at the beginning of September.

This Thursday we enjoyed working a half day and stayed at the house to play.  Since this was a reunion of sorts all were happy to play together again!  Moriah was even able to celebrate her birthday, as Mr. S. and his mom made and decorated a birthday cake for her, and we contributed her favorite "purple" ice cream (black raspberry chip from Graeter's here in Louisville)!

Moriah's picture "smile" really means scrunching her eyes and nose!  too funny
On Friday, we'd hoped to visit the new Oldham County All About Kids location.  Unfortunately, it's not open after all.  The website wasn't very clear as I read through it, so I wrongly assumed it was up and going.  Instead, we waiting for our outing and went to the library after naps and our peach strawberry smoothie snack.  We crafted mid-day and made goggles like the Olympic swimmers wear :)  Mr. S. also wanted to use his watercolors and I had a swimming coloring page on hand that he painted.  Both Mr. S. and Moriah love to swim so it seemed like the Olympic sport they would instantly understand best.  Moriah and Mr. S. also enjoy using toilet paper tubes to make Olympic ring paintings!  Painting with toilet paper tubes is fun and easy for little hands.  I'd highly recommend trying it.  They're getting in the Olympic spirit of things, just a little late, haha.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Moriah!

Today my sweet girl turned 2 years old!  I can't believe how fast these two years have passed.  She's really not a "baby" any more.  She likes to call herself a "big girl" but if Matt or I tell her that she's our "big girl" she corrects us and says "no, mommy's baby".  I think that must always be the case from a mother's perspective.

celebrating her birthday today at work, with a cake made by our kind friends
She's such a blessing in many ways, here are some of my favorite things about Moriah Grace...

*her affectionate heart that loves to share hugs, pats, and kisses
*her great memory that is quick to recall, with surprising enthusiasm, the details of our days
*she lets me sing to her, and seems to like it :)
*she's my "big helper" and likes to be right by mommy's side doing most chores
*her words, which are now sentences most of the time, we talk and talk all day (that won't surprise those of you who know me well I'm sure!)
*her spunky and very silly moments at play
*her giggles and requests for "more tickles"
*her thrill over hiding from us, while announcing where's she is of course
*her love of reading, and joy in being read to
*her listening ears as we speak of the Lord, pray, and read the Word

I'm sure I could go on, though no one needs a doting mommy right?  I've enjoyed each day of these two years though some have of course been more challenging.  I really can't imagine our family without her, and thank the Lord for His goodness.  It is our prayer that we would trust the Lord and rely on Him to graciously work in Moriah's life as we seek to be faithful and loving parents.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

meal plans July 30-August 10

A meal plan update is in order!  We really stocked up for our family's visit and birthday party, and now we're able to be blessed by the abundance that created.  Plans change, especially when we have visitors and I'm slowing learning flexibility :)  We needed some frugal options and have two weeks worth of unconventional meals ahead, some are more "well rounded" than others!  Here's the list...
*I only linked one recipe this week as I think all others have been linked on past meal plans or are pretty self explanatory!

Monday July 30 -
Pinterest inspired caprese salad topped chicken breast, vegetable gratin from the freezer stash

Tuesday -
cilantro lime chicken (for Matt), bland foods for Moriah and I who seem to have had a little bug

Wednesday -
roasted green beans, potatoes, and lemon (basically the chicken recipe, minus chicken!), baked beans, rolls

Thursday -

Friday -
breakfast burritos with egg, bacon, and cheese in spinach wraps

Saturday -
veggie sandwiches with sweet potato fries

Sunday -
nachos with black beans, taco rice, Rotel, cheese, avocado

Monday August 6 -
egg plant lasagna from the freezer, bread, green beans

Tuesday -
fruit and yogurt parfaits, muffins/toast, eggs

Wednesday -
frozen pizzas (still in the freezer unopened from our previous purchase)

Thursday -
corn on the cob, Northern bean and rice salad

Friday -
pasta with marinara sauce (I'll decide which pasta looks best as I shop, maybe ravioli!)